Ryanair could close bases, Goodman’s buys into Green Reit, and Hines plans 1,400 homes on Dublin site

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

Ryanair could close bases and is offering unpaid leave to pilots as tough trading conditions and delays in delivery of Boeing's new 737 Max aircraft continue to bite. Peter Bellew, the airline's chief operating officer, wrote to pilots on Wednesday warning that European short-haul carriers continue to face "very challenging" conditions. He says Ryanair has a surplus of 300 pilots and stopped recruiting captains two months ago as resignations all but dried up.

Beef magnate Larry Goodman has been building up a stake in Green Reit in recent weeks, as the Dublin-listed property company courts bidders after putting itself up for sale in April. Stock exchange filings show that an investment company controlled by the businessman's family, Vevan Unlimited, had accumulated a 2.14 per cent stake, valued at €27.3 million, by Tuesday.

Property player Hines and Dublin City Council could build up to 1,400 homes on one of the few available plots of development land close to the capital's centre. US-based Hines acquired the old Player Wills factory and Bailey Gibson salvage yard on Dublin's South Circular Road early this year after buying loans secured on the properties from State assets agency, Nama.

David Hall, the mortgage debtor advocate, expects 20,000 homes to be repossessed by banks or so-called vulture funds over the next six years. "I think we're into about six more years of this and it's all over by the time the vulture funds start doing repossessions," Mr Hall tells the Inside Business podcast.


Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Jay Powell has cemented the case for the central bank to cut interest rates based on mounting risks to the US economy in testimony to Congress. Separately he also warned that Facebook's planned cryptocurrency, called Libra, cannot move forward unless the social media group resolves "serious concerns" about the project.

Datalex's interim chief executive and acting chairman, Seán Corkery, is overseeing an overhaul of his senior executive ranks as he seeks to turn around the embattled Dublin-listed travel retail software company.

In our tech and innovation coverage, Ciara O'Brien assesses the best mid-range smartphones, and reviews an electric scooter. Marie Boran looks at why, in a world of autonomous technology, weapons must have meaningful human control. Finally, John Holden asks if the Apollo Moon landing matters anymore.

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer is Motoring Editor, Innovation Editor and an Assistant Business Editor at The Irish Times